Teenage driver

Brad Coleman

gave Joe Gibbs Racing its fifth consecutive Busch Series pole at a restrictor-plate track yesterday, winning the top spot for today's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Coleman, 19, joined Gibbs teammates J.J. Yeley (3) and Aric Almirola in winning plate poles in the No. 18 Chevrolet.

Coleman, who has never finished higher than 15th, turned a lap of 184.299 m.p.h. to beat out veterans Dave Blaney (184.062) and Jason Leffler (183.935) for the top spot.

NASCAR fined two-time champion Tony Stewart $10,000 for missing a post-race news conference. The penalty came three days after he compared the racing circuit to professional wrestling, saying the association uses caution flags to control the outcome.

Elsewhere: David Hyder, one of two Michael Waltrip Racing employees suspended by NASCAR in a cheating scandal at Daytona in February, parted ways with the team, Waltrip said.


Former La Salle coach

Billy Hahn

is expected to join

Bob Huggins'

staff at West Virginia, according to ESPN.com.

Hahn coached the Explorers for three years before he resigned after the 2003-04 season amid rape charges against three of his players in two separate incidents. Two players were acquitted and charges against the third were dropped.

Before taking the job at La Salle, Hahn was a longtime assistant under Gary Williams at Maryland, where he established a reputation as an excellent recruiter.

Southern California sophomore guard Gabe Pruitt; New Orleans junior Bo McCalebb, the Sun Belt Conference player of the year; Kansas sophomore Brandon Rush; and Oklahoma State sophomore Jameson Curry announced plans to enter the NBA draft, but none will sign with agents, leaving open the door to return to college.

Akron men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot agreed to a seven-year contract through the 2014 season. His team tied a school record for wins last season, going 26-7, only to be snubbed by the postseason tournaments.

St. Louis hired Rick Majerus, a college basketball analyst for ESPN the last three years. The coach has a career record of 422-147, with 15 postseason appearances.

Elsewhere: Jeffrey Jordan, the son of basketball legend Michael Jordan, said he plans to play basketball at Illinois next year as a walk-on.

Women's basketball

WNBA player

Deanna Jackson

was arrested on an assault charge in Jerusalem after slugging an opposing player in a parking lot after a game. She will not be allowed to leave Israel until after the Chicago Sky's preseason opener.

Jackson, a 6-foot-2 forward, spent this winter playing for Anda Ramat Hasharon of the Israeli League.

She was arrested Wednesday night after attacking Ina Gourevitch, an Elitzur Ramle guard, following the league championship game that Ramle won, 81-68.

Elsewhere: Louisiana State assistant women's basketball coach Christie Sides will not return for the 2007-08 season, head coach Van Chancellor said. . . . Lisa Leslie, a three-time WNBA MVP, signed a multiyear contract with the Los Angeles Sparks. Terms were not announced.


St. Louis Blues forward

Lee Stempniak

had a goal and an assist to lead the United States past Austria, 6-2, in the preliminary-round Group B match at the world hockey championships in Mytischi, Russia.

The United States is seeking its first medal since winning bronze at Prague in 2004. Tomorrow, the U.S. faces Belarus.

Rafael Nadal extended his unbeaten run on clay to 70 matches and advanced to the semifinals of the Open Seat Godo in Barcelona by beating Potito Starace, 6-2, 7-5.